Meedzan, Otley lead field hockey in upset bid vs. Amherst

LEWISTON, Maine -- The eleventh-ranked Amherst College field hockey team overcame first-half deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 for a comeback 3-2 NESCAC victory over Bates College on Saturday at Campus Avenue Field.

The visiting Lord Jeffs (3-0, 1-0 NESCAC) peppered Bates' goal with 45 shots, compared to six for the host Bobcats (1-2, 0-2 NESCAC), but junior goalkeeper Becca Otley's 21 saves kept Bates in strong contention for an upset win.

tied the game at 2-2 in the 40th minute with an unassisted goal by Ellie Andersen, and Madeline Tanks notched the go-ahead goal with 8:51 left in regulation, giving Amherst its first lead of the game and the eventual victory.

Bates junior Bridget Meedzan (Ipswich, Mass.) knocked in her first goal of the season on Bates' first shot attempt of the game, 5:48 into the first half, one-timing a kickout pass from junior Polly Merck (Beverly Farms, Mass.) from the top of the circle. The goal put Merck's run of Bates goals she had either scored or assisted to six, dating back to last season.

Amherst's Krista Zsitvay evened the game in the 12th minute. Katie McMahon found Zsitvay open near the top of the circle with space to touch the ball twice before lining a shot that ripped past Otley. But less than three minutes later, Meedzan struck again on Bates' second shot of the game. With 20:49 left in the half, Meedzan received a kickout pass from senior Laura Baran (Pittsburgh, Pa.) at the top of the circle, and smacked it past Amherst goalkeeper Rachel Tannenbaum for a 2-1 Bates lead.

Andersen tied the game at 2-2 in the early going of the second half, taking advantage of a momentarily passive Bates defense by advancing deep into the circle before scoring.

Tank scored the eventual game-winner by banging in the rebound of a save made by Otley on one of Zsitvay's 11 shots in the game.

Bates senior Alie Philip (Simsbury, Conn.) and first-year Danielle Pierce (Parsonfield, Maine) both came up with defensive saves to complement Otley's stellar effort.

Tannenbaum made two saves in net for Amherst.

Bates will look for its first conference win tomorrow, as No. 17 Trinity visits at 11am (Video). Amherst plays host to Springfield on Wednesday at 7pm.